Speedwell of Rhu Ship's Log

5 th to 8 th of August 2010 - The Western Isles: Barra

Crew : Andy and Helen
Destinations : Castle Bay.
Distance : 31 miles

Today we managed to get our anchor up with difficulty as it had picked up an old fishermans anchor from the sea floor. Sadly we were unable to salvage it to make a garden ornament of it and we had to drop it back. We had a great sail down the coast again racing another boat which had been following us out of Loch Skipport. As usual they overtook us at the last moment. Fortunately there were 12 moorings in Castlebay, only one was taken. There is also masses of room to anchor. We went ashore briefly to check out the facilities and use a cafe.

The next day it rained so we stayed on board. Cabin fever took us ashore for groceries later, but the weather stayed miserable. We tried to contact the bike hire centre, but no one was home. They continued not to answer the phone the following day, so we donned our walking gear and headed up the local mountains after booking into Kisimul Cafe for an evening meal.


We had a lovely walk up the highest two peaks Heabhal and Hartebhal where we got views across Barra and Vatersay. We headed down the other side to the Atlantic where we found an old burial ground. We then walked back along the road to ready ourselves for dinner. We had the best curry for ages in the restaurant, which specialised in Italian and Indian so we could have a dessert as well!

The following day we had hoped to sail to Vatersay Bay but the wind was southerly which would have made for an uncomfortable anchorage. Instead we walked along the road and had our picnic on Vatersay just across the causeway. When we got back to Castlebay we watched dolphins playing and following a dinghy across the bay.

Once we were back on the boat the weather took a turn for the worse and the dinghy headed in. The dolphins returned to us and swam really close for a while before getting tired of us and disappearing.

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